ANDREA TUCKER “ALL IN MY HEAD”
MAY 13 – JUNE 3, 2023
ELISSA CRISTALL GALLERY is pleased to present All in My Head an exhibition of oil paintings by Vancouver artist Andrea Tucker.
Highly detailed, portrait-style oil paintings draw from the artist’s interest in tattoo imagery, tarot cards, and spiritual and mythological symbolism. Also inspired by found objects, Tucker collected old ornate frames which she refinished and which now adorn several of her pieces.
“All in My Head started when I saw a clip from an old silent movie with dancers wearing sailing ships as hats. Around the same time, I saw a picture of a character with machinery on their head and the idea was born.” – AT
Tucker considers her art to be in the realm of Pop-Surrealism. The meticulous brushwork in the paintings, some taking months to a year and a half to complete, reveals how this mostly self-taught artist transformed her ideas from all in her head to all on the canvas.
I first discovered that I loved making art when I was about 10 years old. Our teacher assigned us to create artistic cover pages for each subject. I put all my efforts into these pages and mine were the best in the class and I would get compliments. The other students started to ask me how to draw things. I became the class artist. I loved making the art and I loved the attention it brought me so I wanted to do it all the time.
Everything I create comes from my head. When I get an idea, I know pretty much right away if it’s a keeper. I will start developing it in my mind over a few days to a few months while doing research on the subject. When I am ready and I can picture it perfectly in my mind, I will draw it. I will seek out reference material that will assist me in piecing it all together.
The first thing I do when I start a work is the drawing of course. I think drawing the design is the most important part of the entire process because once you start painting, it’s much harder to make changes. I like to do the drawing far ahead of when I plan to start painting so I can look at it for a period of time, to see if anything starts to bug me about it and then I can make changes. Then I sit with it for some time as well.
I grew up in Ontario and most of my childhood was spent in St. Catharines. I attended a one year Art Fundamentals program at Sheridan College in 1995. Instead of continuing with school I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia and pursued a career in tattooing. I started painting in my spare time using acrylics but never felt comfortable with the medium. It was when I started using oil paint that my passion was ignited. Oils did everything I couldn’t do with acrylics. Tattooing fell by the wayside and I focused all my energy on painting. I started showing alongside Vancouver lowbrow artists like I Braineater, 12 Midnite, Rot’n’Hell and the Poptarts. We did a lot of shows together in the early 2000’s in all sorts of venues. I travelled back and forth from Vancouver to San Francisco and I met and showed with many artists.
Usually I am trying to communicate an idea that I can’t get out of my head otherwise. I don’t always understand where the idea came from or what it means. Sometimes it’s only in retrospect that the painting makes sense and I can see that I was on a certain theme during that time in my life.
If my work does communicate something to others I hope that it is something from their own story. I hope they feel some emotion or that something strikes them in a way that creates a feeling or insight into themselves. – AT